How to Enter

Information on how to enter the Contractor Excellence Awards (CEA’s).

How to Enter

Information on how to enter the Contractor Excellence Awards (CEA’s).

Omaha PRO of NE-IA Contractor Excellence Awards

  • Determine how many projects you would like to enter
  • Complete an ENTRY REQUEST FORM  — attached
  • List number of projects you are entering
  • Include payment of $125 (or $100 early bird) per project
  • Once your request and payment has been received, you will receive an email invitation from Dropbox to access your Contractor Excellence Award Entry file(s)

STEP 2:  Create Your CotY Entry

  • Complete a set of PROJECT ENTRY FORM(S)
    • Official Entry/Homeowner Release – Both PRO of NE-IA Member and Homeowner must sign.  Provide Category and Project Total Cost (include fair-market value for sweat-equity, subcontractors, and in-kind services
    • Photographer’s Release – The owner of the photographs must complete and sign this form
    • “What Products Did You Use” – List materials used, and include a 100 word (or less) description of the project.  (This information may be used for marketing.) 
    • Use Microsoft Word, Powerpoint, or an Apple equivalent to create your entry.
    • Entry is to be no more than 30 pages total
    • The first page is to include Project Total Cost in the upper right corner, and a one-page summary describing:
      • The client’s needs and how they were met
      • How the materials used were functional/compatible and enhanced the existing structure
      • Any innovative uses of materials
      • Functionality of space, lighting, and attention to detail
      • Any difficult challenges encountered and how they were resolved
    • The remaining pages:
      • Arrange your photos, drawings, and project descriptions in a way that is easy to follow from the beginning to the end of the project.  Tell the story.
      • Avoid filling up your entry pages with too many words.  Include only details that help judges determine why your project deserves high marks.
        • TIP:  A bullet-point format is easy on the eyes for judging.
      • Show ‘before’ and ‘after’ photos on the same page when possible (so judges don’t have to flip back and forth to view transformation)
      • Provide ‘before’ and ‘after’ shots from the same angle to give judges a good perspective of the transformation
      • Be sure to ‘compress’ all photos in your document to decrease file size (Use ‘print’ or ‘screen’ format)
    • Be sure to save your document frequently to avoid any accidental loss of the work you’ve done
    • Once entry is completed, save your entry in PDF format
    • DO NOT include company name, or any individual’s name in your presentation
    • DO NOT enter the same project in more than one category (except Green category)
    • DO NOT alter or enhance photos beyond changing brightness, contrast, or sharpness
    • DO NOT exceed the 30-page limit
    • DO NOT reveal member identity or include people in photographs

    • Scan entry forms and save in PDF format
    • Log in to Dropbox and click on your Contractor Excellence Award Entry folder (i.e. C19032)
    • Click the “Upload” icon in the upper right menu
      • Select files to upload (i.e. Entry forms, Contractor Excellence Award Entry presentation, one high quality set a before and an after photo files)
        • Provide one high quality (high resolution) set of a before and after photo (from the same angle, to be used in future marketing of your winning project) must be uploaded as a separate JPG for each photo
        • Be sure to name your pictures with the corresponding entry name (i.e. C19032 Before, C19032 After)
        • Each image must be a high-quality resolution of at least 300 dpi, a minimum size of 4×6 (1200 x 1800 pixels), and no larger than 10MB each (1 MB is an ideal size)


    • Remodeling projects entered must have been completed between AUGUST 1, 2018 and AUGUST 1, 2020
    • ENTRY REQUESTS must be submitted by SEPTEMBER 1
    • Completed Contractor Excellence Award Entries must be submitted no later than OCTOBER 1
    • Contractor Excellence Award judging will take place early-mid OCTOBER 
    • Winners will be announced JANUARY 2021 (TBD) at the Annual Evening of Excellence and Holiday Party


      • Do I have to use a professional photographer to take the photos?  No, but it is recommended to give your project the best presentation.


      • Do I have to include ‘before’ photos, or will ‘after’ photos alone be sufficient?  ‘Before’ photos are required


      • Do I have to get the homeowners signature on the Official Entry Form?  Yes


      • Is my fee refundable if I decide not to enter the competition after receiving my Dropbox folder?  No.  Once the entry is purchased, no refunds will be issued.  Entry fees cannot be carried over to subsequent years, awards, and/or events.


      • How do I determine which category to enter my project?  Read the list of CONTRACTOR EXCELLENCE AWARDS CATEGORIES and their criteria very carefully.  Don’t forget to check out the Specialty, Green, and Light Construction categories that are very broad and cover unusual types of projects.


      • How do I determine my Project Total Cost?  Cost is defined as contract price, all extras, change orders, and the fair market value of materials and products that were purchased, sweat-equity and in-kind services provided, and/or any subcontract work.  The cost of all homeowner provided products, services, or labor should be included in this cost.  All mark-ups and profit should be inclued in the cost provided.  For member-owned projects, costs should include normal mark-ups as if the project was contracted to an outside client.



    QUESTIONS?  Call the Omaha PRO of NE-IA office at 402-331-1718 or
    James Hartkorn 402-597-8778 or
    Stacie Muhle 402-650-6526





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